Disclaimer: This writer does not own Death of the Endless, and is grateful for the guy who does for having made it clear he doesn't mind she's borrowing her for a while. This writer is not making money of this story and truly owes it all to Vertigo and World's Best Dreamer Neil Gaiman.

This story is very, very special. Really, you'll see.

Magic Land

She walks through the amusement park, her hair dark, mingling with the darkness, the shadows playing tag with her jeans and sweatshirt, slender white arms reaching to grab the velvety night and pet its dragon's head. I watch her step lightly through the park, her eyes on the attractions, and she laughs, admiring this temple of forgetting.

She walks and she climbs the Merry-go-round and it starts moving, with no electricity and no supervision, like a scene from a Rod Sterling movie. Laughing there on the spinning circle of plastic ponies, white as a ghost and giggling like a little girl, the music spilling all around her, eloquent and warm.

I watch her looking up as she studies the rollercoaster, I wonder if she'll make it go, or if she'll scream as it dives down a dozen stories or goes a giant loop, her hair flowing backwards, and God, how she's laughing, how she's happy, how she can.

And I know that she won't, lonely little thing, all alone in the empty amusement park, like in a black and white TV show. She's thinking, I know, of the boy who died there today, heart giving out between the hollers and wind. Maybe she thinking on how his hands felt, or his weight, pulling at her wings.

She shoots a rubber duck and wins a teddy bear, tries to reach and take it but isn't tall enough. She's so tiny, looks so frail, just wants her teddy bear and a ride on the coaster, just like all the other girls, she wants to escape.

I follow her quietly and the turned off colorful lights seem to call, seem to want her to come to them. The statues and costumes seem to want her, invite her and welcome her in, offer her a sugar cone and ice cream and a balloon and take her to their magic land. When the people are gone and the show is over, she's left behind to pick up the pieces, of lives and worlds and songs and empty amusement parks.

I walk after her and ghosts seem to rise, of plastic and wood and fabric, and people who came and went and gone home, and a while later died and knew her, and a bit of forgetting went into her, just enough to always leave her longing for more.

She drives the ramming cars, going vroom vroom and swinging the wheel hard. Once a woman fell off at the wrong place there and was electrocuted, and she came and was told of the happiest last experience there ever was. She looks over the stables, absently touching a door. An old rider lived here all his life, tending one horse after another, until dying happy in his bed, full of memories clouded by ten thousand hours on the stage.

Amusement parks have spirits - like TV shows, concerts, carnivals and dreams. Spirits, like puddles, gathered off a thousand raindrops of souls, of people who came and had happy moments of forgetting, of ignorance and innocence in blinking lights and electronic music. Who for an hour had perfect lives and who sometimes had perfect deaths, and then she comes, and the attractions are closed.

She loves amusement parks, visits them every chance she gets, in melancholy nights and empty memories. That's how I came to know of her. I've had no personal experience - I got lucky, I met her in her amusement park mode.

The fences are dark, sleeping, the mirror maze reflecting itself lazily away into infinity. One last popcorn machine wasting electricity in silence. She walks away into the embracing night, drinking a glass of raspberry slush. Places to go, people to meet. Amusement parks are fleeting, brief and intangible, like life, they just get appreciated more.

I don't think I'll publish the pictures I've taken of her tonight after all. They're not really worth the front page. I mean, how unusual can a girl who needs her visit to the amusement park be?